Written by Mary Jackson longtime employee at the General Land Office at the Capital of Texas Complex.

Today the Greer Building houses the offices of the Texas Department of Transprtation.

“Shifton and the School Boy!” Dewitt C. Greer Building, circa 1986

Security Guard extraordinaire and part-time barber, Shifton MacShan had this conversation with me one morning in the Capitol Visitors Center:

Him: Is there any chance the Highway building is built on the sight of an old elementary school?

Me: I have no idea. Why?

Him: Don’t think I’m crazy.

Me: Late for that. But, okay.

Him: A few months ago, a little school boy walked by my counter, and he was back again last night.

Me: Who?

Him: A schoolboy.

Me: A what?

Him: A school boy! A damn school boy! You know what a damn schoolboy is!

Me: When did he walk by?

Him: About two o’clock this morning.

Me: Why did you let him in?

Him: I didn’t let him in! First I see him, he’s already walking by!

Me: How did he get in?

Him: Well, how the hell would I know?

Me: Did you tell anybody?

Him: I’m telling you! You gonna tell somebody?

Me: Not unless you want us both to get drug tested.

Him: I’m telling you, that twice now a damn school boy walked by, with his damn school boy cap and his damn school boy knickers and his damn school books tied up with a damn leather strap!

Me: Well, damn! Did he say anything to you?”

Him: No. He just walks by real fast, turns right at the elevator and disappears down that hall!

Me: Into the human resources office?

Him: I guess that’s what it is.

Me: Why would a school boy need the human resources office?

Him: Because, I think he thinks he’s back at school and he’s trying to get to class! Maybe the human resources used to be a class room all those years ago.

Me: He sounds conscientious!

Him: He’s unnerving!

Me: Why?

Him: Because he’s a damn school boy walking by my damn counter at two o’clock in the goddamn morning! Would you like that?

Me: I see your point. Does he acknowledge you in any way?

Him: I don’t think he even realizes I’m here. Like I said, he’s in a hurry.

Me: Maybe you could both just ignore each other?

(And, that is just what they did! When the little school boy would appear and walk quickly by, Shifton would keep his eyes on his newspaper and say, “Just get on down the hall, little school boy. I ain’t gonna look at you.”

And so they lived (and un-lived!) happily ever after!





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